Boy to Man Bedroom Makeover

Last year, my older son decided he wanted a more adult room. He was starting his senior year of high school and was over his Jets themed room. I can’t find a before picture, so I will give you the gist. Two walls were white, two walls were Jets green (Home Depot had the official colors of the football teams- lucky me) and the walls were adorned with Jets paraphernalia.  I could see why he was ready for a change and was excited to get started, until he told me what his idea of an adult room was. Brown walls and brown bedding – that’s it, nothing on the walls, not even curtains.

This made me sad on so many levels. First of all brown walls sounded like poop. He didn’t mean beige, he meant brown. Mostly it made me sad that he thinks adult rooms couldn’t be fun. Then, I worried that although he is book smart,  his street smarts were lacking. Has he never heard the term “Man Cave”? Out of respect for a future daughter in law, I didn’t explain what a man cave is. I picked up a pillow with mustaches on it for his room and he said I could put it in his room but it would go straight in the closet. That is how serious he was. So, I resigned myself to painting his room brown and getting him brown bedding :( Sometimes you have to pick your battles…

This is how his room was for a year. He was happy and I actually love the color. It is warm and cozy, like a cup of hot chocolate.  I did manage to get a picture hung on a wall and switched out his roller shades for bamboo blinds.

Bedroom Before

Bedroom before

You know what they say: “When the cat is away, the mice will play…” and play I did! It all started a couple of weeks ago when my Baby son left for college and I was fumigating cleaning his room. One thing led to another and here we are:

Teen boy bedroom makeover. Contempory upholstered headboard, shelves trimmed with vintage rulers

Boy bedroom makeover, shelves trimmed with vintage yard sticks,ikea baskets,

Let me take you on a tour, first stop, the shelves. The wall in his room has a cut out, I thought it gave the room some interest. Who doesn’t like a nook? Apparently my younger son doesn’t like it. On the blog, I refer to my sons as older and younger. If I referred to them as #1 and #2, they would both end up in therapy someday but for different reasons.

poplar wood shelves with black brackets

I thought about putting a bookcase in the nook but the floors are a bit crooked, so that wouldn’t work. Instead we hung shelves. The bottom shelf runs the length of the wall and also serves as a night stand. The shelve are 10 inches deep and high enough off the floor for baskets. I love them, but they were a little to plain for me. They looked like shelves you would find in a garage. I wanted to add trim to make them look more finished.

I decided to trim the shelves using the vintage yardsticks that I have been collecting for another project.

shelves made from vintage yardsticks

Shelves made from vintage yardsticks

I love the shelves, I think they are my favorite thing in the room. The shelves are like taking a walk down memory lane.

vintage yardstick shelves with a sports theme.cloche of baseballs

The bottom shelf has some of his sports equipment. The rest are in one of the baskets.

vintage baseballs displayed in a cloche

I displayed his baseball collection in a cloche that sits on a spin art frisbee that he made on a vacation. I don’t think he knew he had a collection of baseballs since they were all over the house.


This is the football he took to the park to play football with his friends. It also goes to the beach on vacation.

mid century modern alarm clock

Hopefully he will use the practice putter? as a coaster.

Jar of childhood memories

I filled a jar with toys he played with when he was little. Play- do, finger skateboards, scooter handle grips, rubber ducks from camp, matchbox cars and other little gadgets. I finished off the shelf with a couple of books and his Rubix Cubes.

building themed shelf vignette

The blocks were a gift and I framed the canvas bag they came in. The wood sculpture is a puzzle bank.

Pinewood derby trophy bookends

I used his Pinewood Derby trophies as bookends. The books also hide the a/c outlet.

The only things I bought for the shelves were the wood and the brackets. I went shopping to pick up a few things for the shelves but nothing said “buy me”, so I didn’t. Instead, I went home and shopped my house like I should have done in the first place. I guess with him leaving for school, I was a little sentimental. I tried to use things that would hold memories for him. I hope he likes them.

My second favorite thing in his room is the headboard.

diy corner headboard using individual upholstered boards

diy corner headboard using individual upholstered boards

I diy’d the headboard by upholstering individual boards and hanging them on the wall. Since his bed is in the corner, I decided to continue the boards around the corner almost like a daybed. The boards were left over from our den built ins. I upholstered them with curtain panels that used to hang in our bedroom. I still have enough left over to make 2 valences.

monkey in the wall

mid century modern sling chair

These two areas still need some tweaking. He took his t.v. to school so I need to hang a picture over the hole. I am not spackling one more hole in his room.

My younger son has been giving me the stink eye because I am working on my older son’s room when “he’s not even home” and I should be working on his room…

So for now, my older son’s room is done. Now he can come home to a clean room:)

Next week, I will give you the details on his room. Have a great weekend! I’m going garage saling:)

signatureI’m partying at:  Homestories A to Z, The Happy Housie, The Style Sisters

The Shabby Nest, Miss Mustard Seed

Love of Family and Home

Funky Junk Interiors

Dimples and Tangles – Best of the Nest

Thrifty Decor Chick



  1. Amazing!! Absolutely love what you did to his room. All the sentimental touches are tasteful and fun-how could he not love it?!
    Can’t wait to see your next room.

  2. Loved this, over from Miss Mustard, my eldest (#1 to his therapist) just left for college too. I am so evil I gave his room to boy #2. We are painting right now. Painting it WHITE! The only white room in my house so far…I feel your pain. Lots of great ideas in here, so glad I popped in for a peek.

  3. this is amazing! the bookshelves are excellent, and styled so well-love the hiding of the ac unit, the ball collection (which was funny when you said he didn’t realize he even had such a collection) and the corner head board. wow!

  4. So creative in every way. Love the yard-stick edges on the shelves and the headboard screams masculine.
    Hope he appreciates your efforts and you get a big hug!

  5. Awesome Kristine I love it! You’re my inspiration to get my butt in gear.

  6. Fabulous headboard and I love, love the yardsticks – what a great idea!
    House of Highlands

  7. Kristine, I love so many things about this room. One – the color. I can imagine how you felt when he wanted to go from a fun kids’ room to brown, but you are right, it is such a warm and cozy color. The shelves with all your son’s things from when he was growing up are so awesome – from the items to the way you edged them out with vintage paint sticks, such a cool detail! Also the putter as a coaster, so clever! Thanks for linking this room up to Best of the Nest, I hope you join again!

  8. Trophies as bookends – genius!! Pinned that idea for later!! It turned out fabulous! Visiting from Best of the Nest :)

  9. You gave your son’s room a great new look. All of the DIY projects turned out so nice. I bet he loves it.

  10. I have been dying to redo my son’s room since he left for college in August, but he won’t let me touch it. He did say that I could repaint the walls, which are in desperate need, but I had to use the same harvest gold color. Your changes are so clever, especially the wrap-around headboard. I’ve decided to leave his room alone until he goes back to school after fall break, but then . . . . You have definitely inspired me.

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